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Posted on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 3:31 p.m.

Saline school district recalls all but three teachers facing layoffs

By David Jesse

All but three teachers in Saline Area Schools who got layoff notices earlier this year have been recalled, meaning they’ll have jobs in the fall, Superintendent Scot Graden said.

“We are giving out tentative assignments today, which pulls all but 3 from the lay-off list,” he said in an e-mail Friday morning. “We do have 3 that are being offered part-time vs. full time - so in general we have 6 staff that remain either off or reduced from this year.

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Scot Graden

Graden said 19 teachers are retiring and two others have resigned, Those retirements and resignations helped make it possible to avoid layoffs and still reduce staffing levels by more than 20 full-time positions, he said.

Saline had issued 63 layoff notices in April. At the time, administrators said they were looking to reduce the teaching staff by about 20 positions as part of their effort to chop nearly $3 million out the budget for the 2010-11 school year.

In late April the district and the teachers union reached an agreement on some concessions that saved six teaching jobs.

The school board approved the recalls earlier this week at a school board meeting.

Saline was among multiple school districts that issued layoff notices this spring to teachers. Those districts included Ann Arbor, which issued 191 notices. District and union leaders are currently talking, but both have said they hope to strike a deal soon that will get all those teachers back to work.

David Jesse covers K-12 education for He can be reached at or at 734-623-2534.


Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Jun 12, 2010 : 9:08 p.m.

Salinemom: It was the SPS who refused to discuss the SEA's proposal. The MEA cannot stop two parties to a contract from re-opening the contract. You might not like those facts, but facts they are. Good Night and Good Luck


Sat, Jun 12, 2010 : 7:51 p.m.

@Tony It is a little difficult when utterly false statements are made like: "It was the SPS that refused to open the contract, not the SEA and certainly not the MEA, as it had no standing whatsoever to do so." Blogs are full of opinions, but stating things that are untrue, you would expect "newspapers" to try and report factual information.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Jun 12, 2010 : 11:03 a.m.

Saline Mom, If you are correct about health care, then adjustments are needed. I take your word about the contract in that regard. But, then, your anger (and that of others) is displaced. The Administration negotiated the contract. The Board approved it. Teacher's unions have little real leverage anymore since they cannot strike. And somehow this is the SEA's fault?? Steps or no steps, the Saline schools still stood to save much money with a pay freeze. And I am certain that Saline's pay scale has a top end, which means the most senior teachers do not step up every year. Call it what you like--I call it financial foolishness. Saline Schools stood to save much money with the SEA's offer. That it chose not to save that money calls into question the agenda being pursued and/or the quality of the schools system's leadership. And assuming you are correct that the next contract will cut pay, it would have to cut pay substantially to make up for the money lost by the rejection of the SEA's offer. Given the game of "chicken" that the Saline Schools administration has been playing for the past few months, and given the fact that it was the one who "swerved", there's no reason to believe its claims, now or in the future, regarding the district's financial situation. Finally, contracts can be reopened at anytime so long as both parties agree to do so. The MEA might not like it, but it is not a party to the contract. The SEA and the SPS are the only parties of concern in that contract. It was the SPS that refused to open the contract, not the SEA and certainly not the MEA, as it had no standing whatsoever to do so. Good Night and Good Luck


Sat, Jun 12, 2010 : 10:44 a.m.

@Mr. Ghost You are in denial that the teachers move up in their "steps" every year. This is about 2 to 4% i believe, then they apply the yearly "raise". So, lets add.5 to each of your numbers for the 4 years, since some of it compounds, and what do we have? (4 *.5 = 2). So, 25 = 25. No help there. SEA members pay ZERO for their health care. I don't even think there are any deductibles and minimal co-pays for drugs. The plan is top heavy, since every family would take the MESSA plan, since it has to be better than any plan offered by a spouses employer. I don't think the administration turned down anything good - they are forward thinking. By the way - what the SEA did give up - paid training - I guess that has no effect on students and the teachers - does it? And that amount was quickly sucked up by the MESSA health increases. I think the whole extension was a moot point anyway. Heim and the SEA claimed that the MEA wouldn't allow contracts to be re-opened. The contract is available on the Mackinaw Center web-site if you'd like to read it. Good Day.


Sat, Jun 12, 2010 : 10:42 a.m.

It would be extremely optimistic of the SEA to assume just a pay "freeze" in the next contract. All of the economics (and now even the politics) indicate it's going to have to be a pay cut. Offering the extension was a shrewd move politically, but they had to know it was a long shot. Amelia, what "other duties" does the alternative high school principal have now? My impression was that she was being pulled from her current job to supervise the alternative program full-time, even though in the past that as been just a small part of an administrator's job.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Jun 12, 2010 : 9:26 a.m.

Salinemom: Let's try some simple math using hypothetical numbers (put as many zeros after these numbers as you like--doesn't change the point): Current contract 10-11 Pay = 5 11-12 Pay = 6 12-13 Pay = 7 13-14 (New Contract--Assume Pay Freeze) Pay = 7 Total Pay (10-14) = 25 With Pay Freeze this year 10-11 = 5 11-12 = 5 12-13 = 6 13-14 = 7 Total Pay (10-14) = 23 So, a pay freeze with a one year contract extension would have saved the district money (and cost teachers money) even IF the first year of the next contract (yet to be negotiated) freezes pay at the previous year's level. Anyone who thinks teachers would not lose money in the deal the SEA offered does not understand basic accounting. And realize that these pay reductions also result in hidden savings to Saline schools--lower SSI contributions, for but one example. I suspect MESSA is a red herring but, not seeing contract, can't say for certain. In Ann Arbor, AAPS pays a basic rate for health insurance, no matter what the plan; teachers pick up the difference for the more expensive plans. I suspect Saline is the same, but can't say for certain. By turning down the SEA's offer (egged on by teacher bashers) Saline schools lost a great deal of money. For anyone who understands basic accounting, this was a no brainer. That Saline schools turned down a very reasonable offer that would have cost teachers real money tells me (and I'm certain it told the SEA membership) that the agenda here had little to do with cost savings. Good Night and Good Luck

Dr. I. Emsayin

Sat, Jun 12, 2010 : 7:28 a.m.

The state is taking 3% off the top of every paycheck next year, so there is an automatic take home pay cut.


Sat, Jun 12, 2010 : 7:19 a.m.

@Mr. Ghost My assumption is based on the number of retirees announced in the consent agenda in the board minutes. Prior to the state plan there were relatively few. After that the numbers jumped. Now that you presented the irony using SEA/MEA math, lets try using Everyday Math that is taught in the district. True, the raise would have generated dollars this year. But, the step increases continue, the overly expensive MESSA insurance continues (15% increase this year) and every other stipend, etc continues. At the end of 12-13 the teachers havent lost a dime (they delayed their 2.5% increase) now applied to higher contractual steps. They still have golden insurance. There would be minimal if any savings unless the state picked up its revenue and the school fund increased (but they want to borrow that money to the general fund). Before you label me a teacher basher, read my other posts. I would gladly pay teachers more but these economic times dont justify that. Every other group in the district has given up something to insure solvency now and in the future. I think Heim and the SEA will have a difficult time at the table when this current contract is up. The public budget presentation is June 22nd @ 6:00, Liberty - see you there.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 7:59 p.m.

@Salinemom: You're assuming that they all retired due to the state's incentive. That, almost certainly, is not the case, though clearly some did. But the ultimate irony is that the SEA offered to take a pay freeze in 10-11 if the contract were extended by a year and deferred raises implemented one-year late through the life of the now-extended contract. That would have saved the Saline School District hundreds of thousands of dollars this year and next year, and likely would have meant a break even for the school district in 12-13. Had this happened no teachers needed to be laid off. Indeed, some new ones could have been hired to replace those who had retired. There would have been more money for other expenses (God forbid it be put in the "bank" for emergency). But the Saline administration, in it's infinite wisdom, egged on by Saline's teacher bashers, turned down the offer. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 7:49 p.m.

Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, I wish I could agree with you, but I don't. The district lost some muy primo staff to be sure. Truly a case of a sacrifice by a few (coupled with building closings, etc) benefiting many. Does this mean the budget balances with no further depletion of reserves? This "teacher basher" is delighted, sorry.


Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 7:21 p.m.

Mr. Ghost "That Saline rescinded those notices means that Saline's budget cannot justify the layoffs." No, what it means is 20 retired teachers at the top of the pay scale that are gone, can fund many more lesser paid younger teachers for the same amount of money. The district is not out of the woods yet, you never know what the state is going to do. Overall the certified staff numbers will still be down.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 6:51 p.m.

"we already called this one out back in the winter that there would be a guarantee that no layoffs would end up happening, more power to the worlds most militant union, congratulations teachers!" LOL The union had nothing to do with this. The union contract for every public school in the state permits layoffs for financial and other reasons. That Saline rescinded those notices means that Saline's budget cannot justify the layoffs. And it means that Saline Schools administration (and the predictable teacher bashers) will have little credibility the next time they demand Saline teachers take pay cuts or suffer layoffs. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 6:21 p.m.

no bashing from the teacher bashers...we already called this one out back in the winter that there would be a guarantee that no layoffs would end up happening, more power to the worlds most militant union, congratulations teachers!


Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 6:13 p.m.

Please feel free to volunteer for a day at the Alternative High School, and you will see that the principal who was handed this position, in addition to her other duties, has her hands full. These kids need every available adult who cares about them, around them.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 6:06 p.m.

Gee, I guess the teachers didn't need to take pay cuts after all. The teacher bashers will be predictably enraged. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Jun 11, 2010 : 6:01 p.m.

The Saline District could save more money by eliminating the principals position for the alternative high school. How can they justify a full time administrat for a program that serves about 50 students, taught by 2 teachers and 2 para pros?